COMMUNISTS: Unity from a Can of Worms

In front of a dingy social hall on Manhattan's Lower East Side last week, police cars prowled and reporters fretted. Inside, after some 60 other New York halls and hotels had refused them talking room, the top leadership of the U.S. Communist party—its "surface" membership down to about 8,500 from 80,000 in 1944—was holding its first national convention since 1950. Prime purpose of the four-day, closed-door session: to select a new national committee and to heal the three-way split in party ranks that had followed Moscow's "downgrading" of Stalin, its "upgrading" of...

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